• White House’s Disaster Relief Request includes $1.2B for Installations

    White House’s Disaster Relief Request includes $1.2B for Installations0

    Military installations in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and nearby areas would obtain funding to repair and rebuild facilities damaged during hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, under a $44 billion emergency spending request submitted by the White House on Friday. The aid, which would benefit all of the military’s branches, primarily would be added to operations

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  • Defense Bill Would Impose Limits on European Infrastructure Consolidation0

    Congress intends to reconsider the Pentagon’s plan to downsize its European footprint in light of Russia’s aggressive stance toward the West. The final version of the fiscal 2018 defense authorization bill calls for DOD to craft a strategy for stationing more troops in Europe on a permanent basis, an effort that will require officials to assess the capacity of existing locations and potential new sites, and to reevaluate locations slated to be divested under the European Infrastructure Consolidation initiative …

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  • Compromise Defense Bill Would Expand Army by 8,500 Soldiers

    Compromise Defense Bill Would Expand Army by 8,500 Soldiers0

    The armed forces would add more than 20,000 personnel, including 7,500 active-duty soldiers, under the $692 billion fiscal 2018 defense authorization bill hashed out by House and Senate negotiators. Last week’s conference agreement includes $626.4 billion in the defense base budget, which exceeds the spending cap permitted under the Budget Control Act by nearly $78 billion, raising the question as to whether all of the plans in the annual policy bill will be funded in the defense appropriations bill …

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  • Pentagon Proposes Turning over DOD-Run Schools to Local Authorities

    Pentagon Proposes Turning over DOD-Run Schools to Local Authorities0

    The Defense Department has proposed turning over operation of the 47 schools it operates in seven states in the continental United States to local school districts as part of a Trump administration initiative to cut spending and shrink the federal workforce. The plan, which would not impact DOD-run schools overseas, was one of several reforms the department sent the Office of Management and Budget in September. If the plan is approved by the White House, DOD would first test it at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. …

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  • New Climate Policies Needn’t Disrupt DOD’s Reliance on Renewables, Conger Says

    New Climate Policies Needn’t Disrupt DOD’s Reliance on Renewables, Conger Says0

    President Trump’s steps so far to back away from existing policies intended to address climate change have not upended the military services’ push to increasingly rely on renewable energy sources to power their installations. But the department’s former installations and energy chief says even if the new administration revisits DOD’s policies on sustainability, it should be careful not to limit efforts that can be justified for reasons beyond their environmental benefits. There is a clear business case for the military to develop new generation capacity on base using solar, wind or other renewable resources as they are generally financed by developers or utilities and can cut an installation’s electricity bill, John Conger, who led the Pentagon’s installations office from 2012 to 2015, told Defense Communities 360 …

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  • County Economic Development Director Underscores Challenges in Finding New Uses for Closed Bases

    County Economic Development Director Underscores Challenges in Finding New Uses for Closed Bases0

    A new round of base closures may allow the Pentagon to redirect spending on unneeded facilities into higher priority requirements, but advocates for a sixth BRAC round shouldn’t promote the process as one defense communities can readily recover from, says the head of an economic development organization helping to address a realignment in south central Pennsylvania. “No one should think it’s an easy process,” said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp., which has been supporting the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority in its efforts to convert almost 1,500 acres to commercial use since Letterkenny Army Depot was realigned following the 1995 round of BRAC …

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